In a short period of time, thanks to the community, the Saline County Library has collected over 500 pounds of recycling and will be getting a bench made from recycled materials. 

"I didn't think it would take less than two months for us to reach our goal, but it is amazing we did," said Leigh Espey, Bryant branch manager. 

The library began accepting grocery bags and other plastics July 1 at both branch locations. The recycling, in turn, goes to TREX, a company that uses the recycling to make decking materials. The library had six months to collect the 500-pound goal. 

The bench the library will receive at the end of the six months will be made from the same decking material. 

Espey said the library will continue to collect the materials through the end of the year. At the most recent weigh-in, the collection was at 586 pounds. 

The library began looking into the program because it provides plastic bags for patrons who have multiple items. Espey said the staff is often asked if the library could recycle them. 

When her son's school did a similar recycling drive, Espey began looking into doing one at the library. 

"It is a need in the community and we get a bench," she said. 

The library plans to do at least one more six-month drive after this one is complete because it has been so well received by the patrons. 

Espey said patrons are glad to have somewhere to bring their plastic bags and similar recyclables. 

The library has not decided where the new bench will be located. 

Espey said when they began collecting, she was not sure how long it would take. She was told 500 pounds is 4,100 plastic bags. After seeing how much patrons brought in the first week, she knew the library would make it. 

She and the staff at the library are grateful for the community bringing the recycling to help them reach the goal. 

She hopes the program has and will continue to educate people about recycling.  

Any other business or organization that is interested can visit www.trex.com to learn more about its recycling programs. 

The library is continuing to accept plastics. 

The items the library can accept are:

•grocery bags

•bread bags

•case overwrap

•dry cleaning bags

•newspaper sleeves

•ice bags

•wood pellet bags

•Ziploc and other reclosable bags

•produce bags

•bubble wrap

•salt bags

•cereal bags

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